North Side, South Side, right side, wrong side. Anyway you look at it, it’s been a rough week for the Cubs (11-21) as they continue their home-and-home four-game set with the White Sox (18-17).
Gordon Beckham hit his second home run in as many nights and Paul Konerko blew the game open with a three-run double in the fifth inning, helping the White Sox beat the Cubs for a third straight time, 8-3. It was the fifth inning that was the turning point.
After Beckham’s home run put the Sox up 4-1 in the fourth, the Cubs struck back with two runs to shave the lead to 4-3. With runners on second and third and two outs, Cubs slugger Anthony Rizzo had a 3-1 count and a chance to load the bases for Starlin Castro. White Sox starter John Danks (3-2, 4.93) appeared to be trying to walk Rizzo, but was the beneficiary of a called strike two on a pitch that appeared to be a few inches outside. The next pitch also appeared outside, but was called strike three to get Danks and the Sox out of the inning with the lead.
After loading the bases in the fifth, Konerko yanked Travis Wood‘s first pitch down the left-field line driving in three runs and effectively ending the drama for the night. Wood (2-4, 4.75) was done for the night in his shortest outing of the season. Renteria came to the mound to remove Wood and was thrown out before he could get back to the dugout – seemingly for arguing the strike calls against Rizzo the half-inning prior.
Danks struck out a season-high eight in his six innings of work. Jake Petricka pitched a perfect seventh and eighth before Maikel Cleto finished it, giving the Sox a season-best four-game win streak – as well as putting the Pale Hose one game over .500. The Cubs dropped to ten games under .500 for the first time this year.
One year ago it was the Cubs who swept the four-game set from the White Sox. Tomorrow the South Siders will have a chance to return the favor. If they can, the Sox would tie a season-best two games over .500. The Cubs will send Jake Arrieta (0-0, 0.00) to the mound for his second start of the season, while the White Sox will go with Scott Carroll (1-1, 0.68) – Carroll’s third start of the year.
First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. CST – the game will be televised on WGN TV, as well as broadcast on WGN Radio AM 720.